It's an intriguing prospect, a kind of Bourne-meets-girl story. Essentially a chase movie, 17-year-old Hanna (Soairse Ronan) has been raised by her rogue ex-CIA father (Eric Bana) in northern Finland(!) to be an ever-ready assassin/all-round hard nut. However, the spooks in Langley (led by red-headed Cate Blanchett) get wind of their location and go all out - with the assistance of a camp German hitman-cum-cabaret-owner (Tom Hollander) - to capture or kill them both.
But it doesn't really work. Some of its problems are common to many post-Bourne Identity/Casino Royale action movies that take themselves very seriously: the too-silly premise, ludicrous dialogue, needlessly complex plot, sledgehammer-subtle 'themes', excessive location-use, unnecessary length and so on.
In the case of Hanna, you can also chuck in a few other issues that are fundamentally flaws of direction. Joe Wright - who did a good job on Atonement - has little to be proud of here. He throws the kitchen sink at the screen, shamelessy - and jarringly - using dozens of visual cliches without thought for the overall composure and feel of the piece. The tone of the film is all over the place too, and that's before we get onto the bizarre interlude involving an insufferably irritating family of British hippies (presumably included as some sort of in-joke).
And just as his film lurches between extremes so has Wright in his press interviews gone from disingenuous (ranting at the sexualisation of young female characters in Hollywood yet inserting some A ma soeur!-ish soft focus shots of his mid-teen stars in bikinis; boasting of a European sensibility yet taking a holiday-brochure approach to the exotic locales) to delusional (comparisons with David Lynch). He is certainly a director of some promise, but like a wild-eyed young novelist trying to get every idea in their onto the page, he needs the firm hand of a good editor.
There are a few redeeming features, however. Tom Hollander understands the high-camp of his lemon-tracksuited henchman (20% Omar Little, 40% eighties football hooligan, 20% Joel Grey from Cabaret and 20% Funny Games thug) and unleashes the comic anarchy he hinted at as 'The Fucker' in The Thick of It. The Chemical Brothers soundtrack - featuring the second Grieg-vs-techno mashup of recent months (see The Social Network) - is perfectly decent and the actual action sequences are generally fine, if suffering from the classic one-at-a-time-now-lads syndrome. And it's worth mentioning that Soairse Ronan really does a very good job of carrying this film; all the more extraordinary given that she was only fifteen when shooting began.
Nevertheless, a poor film.